Between COVID-19, forest fires and other devastating events this year, 2020 has become a time that many are dying to leave behind. Words like "challenging", "groundbreaking" and "constantly changing" would describe 2020 mildly.
Last but not least, it taught us many things, including resistance to adversity.
Information management specialists apply what they have learned in their strategic roadmaps for 2021. This enables them to create integrated information management plans that provide flexibility in anticipation of continual change and ensure optimal productivity throughout the pandemic and beyond.
A highly integrated information management program should help organizations stay compliant, competitive, and controlled. A substantial part of this should include a
comprehensive set of information management solutions to make governance and retention plans a reality. Related services that are integrated should work together and independently fit your budget, immediate needs, and future plans.
In some of those teachable moments from 2020 onwards, the primary recognition that organizations realized was that they needed to be willing to spin quickly to cater to customer needs. To support our own customers, Access has developed a roadmap on how to create an integrated information management plan that enables companies to achieve their goals in the long term and in the short term. Here are 10 steps to get started.
As with any initiative, you have to start somewhere. In this case where you want to create a roadmap and comprehensive information management plan, you first need to outline your driving influences and desired outcomes and work backwards from there. To do this, you need to understand the people, processes, and goals that will affect the project in order to determine how you will get to your ultimate goal on time and on budget.
Your organization can be paper intensive, digital first or somewhere in between. Evaluating your format types and their associated content will determine what to work with and where the gaps are so you can start planning them based on priorities and goals.
Take a look at your current information program. It is likely that parts will work fine and others will not. The goal in this step is to evaluate what is working and why and for the parts that need work, evaluate why they are not satisfactory and begin the process of finding more effective solutions that offer continuous optimization.
Organizations often need to introduce new information management solutions to address a regulatory problem or to provide easier access to information. Plan to align your schedule and budget with these affected influencers to ensure success. You could also discuss pooling your budget with other beneficiary departments to create more value for everyone across the board.
Successful results require strategic control with a clear understanding of competing needs and priorities across the organization. In this step, consider what skills and time you can spend on the project, what resources are available in-house, and get expert help if necessary and with a set budget.
Regardless of how you store your information, the toughest part you need to master is getting it. Make developing, mapping, and applying a consistent taxonomy and metadata schema a project priority to ensure the success of projects and future processes.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, when planning the start of your project, you need to start with the results and work backwards to plan the "how". Converting your current solution to a new solution rarely works. The result of this approach are clunky systems that are underused, wasting time and money. Avoid this mistake by starting with your right foot.
One of the most important considerations in planning your integrated information management strategy is whether the right people can consistently access the documents they need. If remote access to information is required, as is common with so many remote workers these days, your solution will likely include some digitization. How much you need to digitize depends on a variety of factors and goals.
Many digital solutions are easy to adopt and difficult to control. The result can be a disorganized mess that increases your compliance and security risks. To avoid this challenge, look for a technology solution that can be implemented in a way that automates compliance and security.